Disney has pushed the theatrical release date of Scarlett Johansson and Marvel’s “Black Widow,” as well as other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, back to 2021, Disney announced on Wednesday.
“Black Widow” was previously scheduled to be released on November 6 but will now open May 7, 2021, the slot previously held by “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Other Marvel films including “Eternals” Shang Chi,” are also moving back within 2021.
“Eternals,” directed by Chloé Zhao, will now open Nov. 5, 2021, after being slated for February 12, 2021, and “Shang Chi” is bumped back slightly from its May slot to open July 9, 2021. While “Eternals” was meant to be the next-up MCU title after the “Black Widow” film, “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will now follow and remain in summer 2021.
These were just the larger changes to the MCU in which Disney also shuffled release dates for films like “The King’s Man,” “Death on the Nile” and moved back Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” a full year to December 2021.
“Death on the Nile” will open Dec. 18 of this year, while “West Side Story” with Ansel Elgort will debut in theaters on Dec. 10, 2021. The crime and horror film “The Empty Man” from 20th Century Studios, which was previously dated for Dec. 4, will now move up to Oct. 23, 2020. “Deep Water” starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas was also delayed from November of this year to August 13, 2021, and “The King’s Man” will shift up slightly to Feb. 12, 2021.
Finally, placeholders for an unspecified Disney event film on July 19, 2021, and a 20th Century event film on Aug. 13, 2021, have been removed from the schedule.
These changes come after Disney tested the waters with a premium video on-demand release of “Mulan.” The film was made available on Disney+ to subscribers for $29.99 and also opened internationally, but struggled to find a big opening in China. Disney has not made available any numbers on the film’s performance.
No word yet on Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” which is still slated for theatrical release on Nov. 20 of this year. Disney has had some success with adding family films such as “The One and Only Ivan,” “Artemis Fowl” and another Pixar film, “Onward,” direct to Disney+, but for now it will stay put.
Remaining on the Disney and 20th Century slate for 2021 are “The Empty Man,” “Soul,” Zhao’s TIFF-winning drama “Nomadland” on Dec. 4, the Ryan Reynolds comedy “Free Guy” and “Death on the Nile closing out the year on Dec. 18.
Set in the two-year span between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Widow” will bring back Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha for one last ride. The character, as you may recall from “Avengers: Endgame,” died to secure the Soul Stone to use against Thanos. “Black Widow” is directed by Cate Shortland and written by Eric Pearson from a story by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson. In addition to Johansson and Florence Pugh, it stars David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.